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Still learning my way around Dog Forum so I apologize if you've already seen this under General. Thought I might get more feedback if posted under Health.

My Chihuahua Georgia was not herself yesterday morning. While she remained alert, she was weak and unable to stand; she rocked herself back and forth to move around on the couch. I knew something neurological was going on. I took her to the Puppy ER. Her sugar and BP were very low. They gave her Saline and Dextrose boluses. Her RapidPoint Chem profile showed other electrolytes out of wack and she was acidotic which are all consistent with Addison's disease.

Today the Dr. called and confirmed that Georgia was positive for Addison's.

She is home and doing well (90%). She is drinking and going to the bathroom. She just ate some chicken but didn't keep it down. I'm going to go buy some baby food and tsp feed her until she can tolerate it.

So now I have a bunch of questions, seeking opinions really. Here's the story:

Georgia's "Addisonian Crisis" was brought on by a stressful event (A five day paint job that lasted two weeks). She literally just couldn't take the disruption any longer. I was pretty much over it myself. As this condition is related to the stress hormone preparing you to fight or flight which increases blood sugar and BP the prolonged exposure depleted her sugar and bank of steroids that regulate electrolyte balance as well as other bodily functions - she depleted, and literally crashed and burned.

Treatment for her is to consist of periodic blood work to monitor her lytes, an injection every 25 days and oral steroids every day for the rest of her life. She took her first pills today well with a dab of peanut butter.

Questions (I will also be asking these of the vet at her two week checkup):
  1. say stress was eliminated from her life, is medication to increase steroids necessary? I mean, she's always been a little sensitive but this was an extenuating circumstance. To date (she's 6 1/2) she's managed and we've always protected her from being too upset or nervous.
  2. do you think that this imbalance may be partially responsible for some of her "little dog" issues (i.e. being a little nervous, yappy or nippy)?
  3. I'm concerned that giving her steroids will lead to her needing other medications to combat the problems steroids bring - any experience with these type of issues? All this world needs is a Chihuahua in roid rage!
My plan is to follow through with what is recommended until she's 100% again. I know that with this treatment plan she would live a long, normal life. But, if this could be managed by managing stress and she doesn't need monthly shots, pills and periodic blood work I don't want to put her through that.

I asked the vet we saw if this stressful event hadn't happened, if Georgia wasn't currently in "crisis", would she still have tested positive for Addison's and the vet said yes, that she has probably always had it and it was just brought to the surface via this stressful event.

Anybody have any opinions, thoughts, feedback?


UPDATE:

So I bought some Gerber baby beef. I don't remember the jars being so small.
Georgia readily ate three tsp., I waited 1/2 hour and gave her a couple more tsp. She kept it down and took a long nap. We woke up and she ate a couple more tsp. Doesn't seem as interested but took a little in.

She was in pretty bad shape yesterday so I have to remember progress may be slow. I wonder how fast or slow I should see progress back to her norm. Any thoughts?
 

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Hi, while I am glad you figured out what was was going on with your Georgia, I am very sorry to hear that your dog has Addison's. What a bummer. At least it is treatable.

And yes, I feel like stress can really wreak havoc with our pets...and ourselves! Stress can affect our bodies and our minds....esp when it is constant stress or prolonged stress. Unfortunately we cannot always control how much stress comes our way. We can learn to deal with it better, and teach our dogs to deal with it better, but stress (esp prolonged) sucks!!

I am glad to hear that Georgia is starting to eat again. Whew, right? Scary when our dogs cannot or refuse to eat.

By the way, you say you bought the lil jars of baby food for Georgia, right? Please be aware that many of those jars have onion in them, which is supposed to be bad for dogs. Some say toxic, but who knows what amount has to be ingested to be harmful? I just remember when my Athena was very ill, we too were using baby food in jars for a bit to entice her to eat. I remember the vet said to watch out for onion in the ingredients list. Maybe check with your vet and see what they say about this?

I ended up instead boiling chicken and then putting that and some veggies and maybe rice in a blender for her. I made it all pureed, and hand fed her. Then I reused those lil baby food jars with my homemade stuff to take with me when she came to work with me when she was so sick.

Sending you and your doggie healing wishes!!!
 

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I'd be careful with steroids. My last dog was on steroids for five months due to a degenerative spinal disease. Instead of getting to put him down peacefully at home when the time was right and be with him, he died alone in the hospital after a forced surgery to find the source of a sudden onset massive infection.

Steroids suppress the immune system and basically caused him to develop a raging infection out of nowhere. They didn't help him that much and in retrospect I never would have kept him on them so long.

Occasionally since then, I have had to have each of my cats on short term steroids (allergic reaction/asthma/ cancer) but I always have taken them off as soon as possible.
 

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One of the types of baby food doesn't have onions in it. Just read the ingredients carefully.
My dog is allergic to chicken and gets awful diarrhea from it. When he needs a bland diet I either have to get prescription food from the hospital or make him boiled hamburger meat with plain boiled white rice. Which he hates because it's too plain. He wants salt and pepper and gravy lol.
 

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I'd be careful with steroids. My last dog was on steroids for five months due to a degenerative spinal disease. Instead of getting to put him down peacefully at home when the time was right and be with him, he died alone in the hospital after a forced surgery to find the source of a sudden onset massive infection.

Steroids suppress the immune system and basically caused him to develop a raging infection out of nowhere. They didn't help him that much and in retrospect I never would have kept him on them so long.

Occasionally since then, I have had to have each of my cats on short term steroids (allergic reaction/asthma/ cancer) but I always have taken them off as soon as possible.
In the case of Addison's steroids are there to replace the ones not made naturally in the body. As such they do not depress the immune system because there's no extra. They have an immune suppressing effect when used to treat inflammatory disorders.
 
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